NASA's Reboot

On April 15, Obama outlined a new strategy for NASA at the Presidential Space Summit held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The plan proposes a sizable increase in NASA's budget, a privatizing of access to low-earth orbit, and shift in focus toward new technology development.  A fellow A4H was there firsthand to witness the event. If you, like me, couldn't be there, check out this NASA video that explains the new plan:

NASA's proposed cancellation of the Constellation program has sparked both fierce supporters and opposition. Overall, I am optimistic about the possibilities with the increased funding and shifted strategy, and I hope NASA's actions match its rhetoric. However, what is lacking now is a specific, focused plan with actual timetables and goals.  One of Obama's statements in his speech really worried me, though:

Now, I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the Moon first, as previously planned. But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before.

That statement illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of why we explore. We don't just go to plant a flag and say "been there, done that". We go to learn. As much as I support getting humans to Mars NOW, I don't think the Moon should be ignored. We can explore both, and in fact the Moon may prove a useful testbed for technologies and crews before we send them to Mars.  Obama really missed an opportunity to boldly set a line in the sand for when we should reach Mars and how all of NASA's exploration efforts to the Moon, asteroids, and otherwise would fit in with that plan.

To learn more, you can read the entire speech transcript, watch it below, and review the OSTP and NASA fact sheets on the plan.

If Batman, 007, and Star Trek can successfully reboot, NASA can too.


Unknown said…
I believe Moon is left to private exploration like LEO
Norman Copeland said…
I recently posted this at another blog... []

For me... Whats important is that we see how many Americans will fly to low earth orbit when America is not providing a space plane or orbital test vehicle [OTV], I totally agree with the President's decision, I beleive the President is attempting to flush out and gauge how many American's feel the need and urge to fly in and around low earth orbit as soon as possible.

It would provide a significant indication as how responsive the American market would be at the intital stages.

President Barack Obama is really simplifying the intelligence of the situation. No space vehicle for NASA astronaught's for a minimum of 5 years will promote the commercial stimulous.

''Based purely on commercial business tender''.

As an investor I certainly wouldn't purchase a fleet if the American market didn't show it's interest to fly orbital on the first opportunities.The president is totally correct.

American money doesn't fly straight.

If the Chinese suddenly introduce a plasma engine drive that has the capacity to fly to Alpha centuri in a month, the President will have predicted corectly in saving America's 'bolt' package moon colony money for more competative science.

Jog on...Commercial space has low earth orbit and the moon...WHALLLUH!!!


For me, I beleive we're anticipating a significant jump in aerospace technology soon, really soon.

Good day.

Norman Copeland.

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